Here are the ways in which Obama has laid the groundwork for a monstrous Trump presidency.* Thanks, Obama!
4.) No Transparency
The Obama administration has been the least transparent administration to date. Obama makes Nixon look like an open book. This paves the way for Trump (who has been notably opaque during the campaign) to do his tyrannical bidding in total secrecy.
Unquestionably, we won’t be able to count on Trump being more transparent than Obama.
At the same time, the fates of Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange all hang in the balance, thanks to Obama. The “Hope” and “Change” should have led to a dismantling of the security state and the military-industrial complex.
Rather, the empire strengthened, consolidated, and expanded. When Trump calls for the killing of Edward Snowden, we shouldn’t take this as facetious rhetoric.
3.) Deportation Nation
Let’s be straight. Obama hasn’t done much of anything concrete to protect people of color. Aside from a few flowery statements and a warm speech from time to time, the racist functioning of the American state has continued.
Police have been gunning down black people in the US since forever. Why isn’t Obama actively fighting police militarization? Why is he not standing with the Black Lives Matter movement?
He’s said some nice things, but what has he done?
Another clear example right now is that Obama could stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Why isn’t he stopping it? Do the lives of indigenous people matter less than the lives of white people (away from whom the pipeline was rerouted)?
When it comes to Latin@s, Obama has a particularly abysmal record.
Donald Trump is talking about setting up deportation squads.
The thing that nobody seems to be talking about is that we already have deportation squads in the United States. Obama has deported more undocumented (and sometimes documented!) immigrants than any other president in history.
This is the nice liberal face of terror.
White supremacy has been the backbone of the US government since it was founded. And why has Obama not even mentioned that trivial fact?
Indigenous people, black people, latin@s, and other people of color live under America, not in America.
And Trump intends to keep it that way.
2.) The NDAA and The Surveillance State
The National Defense Authorization Act is actually so over-reaching and invasive that at the time Obama signed it, he himself said that he would not use parts of the bill during his administration. Well what does that mean?
It’s hard to accept for those who have trusted Obama to “do the right thing”. After all, liberals for the past eight years have been reluctant to criticize him.
He’s got a good heart! The Republicans are just ruining everything!
The surveillance state is all-pervasive. Every phone call, every text, every e-mail, every photo, every tweet, every google search is marked, collected, and stored.
The internet has made people vulnerable at every junction to the endless spying of the US government.
This is the man who’s very first act as president was to sign an executive order to close the American gulag at Guantanamo Bay. In case you were wondering, it’s still open. Do you think Trump is going to close it?
It is obvious that the surveillance state under Trump will be expanded. And once he decides to target Muslims, he’ll already have all the information he needs, because Obama has kept Bush’s Muslim registry in place.
1.) The War Precedent
Obama’s been at war longer than any other president – the full extent of both terms. There hasn’t been a day of Obama’s presidency where the United States wasn’t at war. This is the man who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.
Let’s do a quick run-down: Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan. After all this is the first presidency of drones, drones, and more drones.
The United States has also been engaging in more and more high-profile and dangerous cyber warfare.
Since 2014, tensions with Russia have been high and Obama has been playing war games with NATO in order to prepare for hybrid wars. This will allow Trump to spread hybrid warfare more broadly. Along with this, the violent coup in Honduras in 2009 was backed by the Obama administration as well as the legislative coup this year in Brazil.
Which coups will we see under Trump? In Cuba? In Venezuela? In Indonesia?
And of course, Trump will be able to kill American citizens without any accountability.
For those patriots (for whom an American life is for some reason more valuable than the life of a non-American), Obama was the first president to be openly authorize the assassination of an American citizen.
*For the record, all of these things would’ve also applied to Hillary Clinton, had she won.